How do you handle horriable behavior after visitation?

Amber Kay - posted on 01/26/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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The father of my child and I have been separated since my son was 3 weeks. After the birth of my son he changed and became very verbally and started to become physical. Shortly after leaving I placed him on child support which meant visitation. This did not bother me due to the fact I wanted my son and his father to have a relationship. After spending time with his father my son would be excited to see me but recently that has changed. He becomes upset and  cries for his father during the drop off.  Some times he will kick, bite, and punch me . He usually calms down 10 to 15 minutes after the drop off but it REALLY upsets me. He fathers is claiming I'm a horriable mother because my son behaves like this at the drop off. 
 I don't understand why my baby would act like this? I know when he is with his father he is usually around 4-5 other child his age ( his cousins) and I'm positive there are no rules/boundaries applied. There are no bed times, he is completly spoiled, and has no structure whatsoever . I spoke to his father about this and he told me what happens during his time is his bussines and not mine. My son now curses and calls anyone he sees a b$$$$.  I just dont know how to handle this situation. Just recently as his birthday party he was cursing and his father and girlfriend thought it  was hysterical. How do I teach wrong from right when his father is like this?  Has any one else gone through this? And if so how did you handle it? 

Sorry for any typos I'm using my iPhone to post. 

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Amber Kay - posted on 01/27/2013

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Thanks. I do try to reconnect with him when he gets home. I usually keep the first day back low key and he usually does fine. It's just the drop off thats bad. I h e some relief knowing that it will get better as he gets older.

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2013

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Thanks Amber. My son used to behave badly at the age when he came home from his dad's, so I DO understand the frustration. I learned to expect it, and ensured that I did not plan anything much for the next couple of days (except his daycare and my work), so that I could ensure strict schedule and bedtimes, etc, as well as to give me time to reconnect with him at an emotional level. One thing I have noticed with the kids (both my son and my step-children) is that kids seem to emotionally disconnect from one parent and connect to the other when it is time to go, it is almost like a switch going on. The transition takes a little time. So actually making time to reconnect with your son is important, and making time to impose you schedule again, and be consistent with it is also important.

Your son is reacting a little differently than mine did - mine would be really unsettled for a couple of days. But every child is different and their emotions about this will manifest in different ways. It will pass. I know that's not a lot of help, but as they get older, the transition becomes much easier, and pretty much non-existent. My son is 15 now, and the only transition is him unpacking his bag!! But for a LONG time I always expected a little bit of a transition (sometime he was just moody, sometimes he was tired, sometimes he was very quiet), and was always prepared for it.

Michelle - posted on 01/26/2013

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I agree with Jodi.

I have done 50/50 shared care for 8 years and I have a different set of rules compared to Dad. I have rules and he doesn't.

I used to just remind my boys that they were back with me and the rules are still the same as when they left. It would take them a couple of days but they soon got back into my routine. Now that they are older I don't have to remind them as often.

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Amber Kay - posted on 01/27/2013

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His father has him every other weekend and Thursday's overnight. My son is two. I guess I'm just concerned because I dont want my child to think his behavior is ok.I just want to know how other mothers handled such behavior? I'm a first time mom and I've never really been around children so I have no idea how to handle this.

Jodi - posted on 01/26/2013

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Your ex is right. What happens during his time pretty much is his business. You can't really control what happens on his time, and unless you have evidence that it is bad for your child (such as drug use or abuse), there isn't a lot you can do. Having said that, however, you can establish rules in your house, be consistent with your discipline, and it will eventually get through.

You haven't mentioned how old your son is, nor how often dad has visitation. How you could try to manage it would depend on both of these things.

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